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Pilots Group Opposes Body Scanners

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An airport backscatter body scanner is demonstrated (credit: AP)

An airport backscatter body scanner is demonstrated (credit: AP)

WBZ-TV's Bill Shields Bill Shields
Bill Shields is a general assignment reporter for WBZ-TV News. He...
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BOSTON (CBS) — Isn’t flying fun these days? The crowds, the rushing around, and full-body scanners at security.

Now, the U.S. Airline Pilots Association is taking aim at the advanced body-imaging technology, saying their pilots go through the scanners so frequently it might be a health issue. Union President Mike Cleary said Thursday, “Pilots should NOT submit to full body screening…frequent exposure to TSA-operated scanner devices may subject pilots to significant health risks.”

But the Food and Drug Administration has said that even going through the screeners a thousand times a year should not have any ill-effects.

Passengers at Logan Airport seemed to be more concerned about security than high-technology screening machines.

“I’m more concerned about the plane blowing up,” said one traveler. “Those devices should be o.k.”

But it’s not just the screening machines that have the pilot’s union upset, it’s also the human screeners. 

The union now is trying to enable its crews to avoid the “pat-downs,” saying they’ve been abused by the TSA employees, “The word one pilot used to describe the incident included ‘sexual molestation’,” said Mike Cleary.

With the busy holiday travel season approaching, the pilots may get a break but not the flying public.

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